The primary lesson I have learned in my first two weeks of home ownership is to let go of expectations. My friend Carol said, "Your house is like a living being. There is only so much you can change." I learned that late Friday night when the heavily scratched, damaged and shellacked floors that had been one consistent color were now three colors (it turns out the stairs were a third type of wood—yellow pine).
The floors are now becoming beautiful. (Lesson 2: Nothing is ever really done right the first time.) And they turned out differently than I expected (see Lesson 1).
Let me rewind and explain how I got here. I met Andy Martin, a floor specialist focusing on historical restoration. He was one of three floor people I met. (Lesson 3: Get multiple bids to understand the range of costs and then go with your gut). I went with Andy because he gave me the best offer and I could see how much he loved the wood. He shoehorned my project into his schedule before heading on holiday, and there is still more to be done but we are well on our way.(Lesson 4: Do not shoehorn. Always leave room for the unknown: a broken sander, poor lighting or bad weather.)